Twitter co-founder Evan Williams confirmed the microblogging service closed a funding round from Insight Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital and Benchmark Capital
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has confirmed the microblogging service closed a funding round from Insight Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital and Benchmark Capital.
Twitter lets users post messages of up to 140 characters to its Website. Numerous media reports said the funding totaled $100 million (£63m), valuing the startup at $1 billion despite the absence of any solid revenue.
Williams declined to provide financial details in a this blog post on the news, but wrote on the company blog: “It was important to us that we find investment partners who share our vision for building a company of enduring value. Twitter’s journey has just begun and we are committed to building the best product, technology and company possible. I’m proud of the team we’ve built so far and I’m confident in the future we’ll build together.”
Twitter, which has already received $55 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, has become intensely popular in 2009. More than 54 million users use per month, according to comScore.
While Twitter’s acquisition talks with Facebook and Google earlier this year failed to bear fruit, the new funding proves is Twitter intends to stay and independent.
The company has been boosting its value proposition for businesses, publishing its Twitter 101 manifesto to instruct businesses how to use it. Twitter also revised its terms of service to allow for advertising in the future.
While Dell, JetBlue, PepsiCo and others have already used Twitter to boost sales, the company is expected to set up and charge for services to allow businesses to market and promote themselves on the service. Twitter would also charge for analytical insight into those services.
The company also said it will soon offer geolocation services to Twitter, enabling users to include their latitude and longitude to any tweet.
Twitter’s funding comes shortly after rival Facebook trumpeted that more than 300 million users use its social network.
Twitter has said internally it hopes to be the first Web service to reach 1 billion users. The company could also buy one or more of the myriad startups that have emerged in the company’s shadow to extend the value of the microblogging services on desktops and mobile phones.